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The security of Peace is one of the grand purposes of the Christian religion. It is implied in the truths which it teaches; in the good which it communicates; in the faith which it invokes; in the charity which it commands; in the Sabbath which it sanctions; in the heaven to which it points, and in the Divine character of Him who is revealed to be the Prince of it. But to understand the true nature of this grace requires a little consideration. Interests of various sorts frequently surround the means to it with difficulties, and cause it to be regarded from different points. The politician views it from commercial considerations; the Christian looks at it from a religious ground. The one has a natural, the other has a spiritual end before him. If right order prevailed there would not be this difference: it would then be seen that true politics ought to have their life in true religion; but as religion has lost much of its faith and many of its charities, so politics have frequently forgotten some of their right principles, and set aside the claims of justice. Hence they have become two separate things : each has its partizans; both make efforts to maintain their positions, and so peace has come to be regarded by many as a desirable blessing only

• Newswriters and politicians have very recently led this country to believe that & war with America was imminent, and the English Government had begun to make preparation for the terrible contingency. It appeared, however, that the circumstance which had given origin to this excitement had not been authorised or sanctioned by the American Government. An explanation to this effect, together with the restoration to liberty of the captives, have been received by English Statesmen as satisfactory, and the threatened calamity has been happily averted. The hush thus occasioned was the suggester of this article. [Enl. Series.-No. 99, vol. ix.]

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so far as it is favourable to selfish or sectarian purposes. We however propose to avoid this narrow and injurious view of the subject, and shall endeavour to contemplate it a little in the light of the New Jerusalem. The knowlege of right principle is necessary for right action.

There can be no doubt that peace is a great blessing. It is the earnest desire of all good men at all times. National peace is a political blessing, which places the country in a position to develope the means of civilizaton, and thereby to welcome the advantages of religion. But although one nation may be at peace with another, neither may be at peace with itself. All the nations of Europe are at present agreed to sheath the sword so far as each other is concerned, and yet it would be hazardous to say that any one of them is in the possession of that which is meant by peace when viewed from its true origin and proper purpose. There prevails in all some intestine dissatisfaction, something which good men deplore, and wise men endeavour to remove; and so long as facts of this kind are discoverable, it cannot be said that peace, with its high and religious signification, is enjoyed by any.

For our nation merely to lay down its arms and to refrain from the invasion and injury of another is only a very negative kind of peace; it may be nothing more than a peace of selfishness, a peace founded on fears for national safety—a fear lest prestige should be sacrificed, treasure exhausted, taxation increased, patriotism diminished, and life destroyed. The cessation of war from these grounds does not imply the restoration of peace. It may be a ceasing to do evil, by which an opportunity is presented for learning to do well; but if this learning is neglected, the high, the true religious idea of peace will not be realised. For religion does not contemplate war to consist merely in physical hostilities; it regards mental hostilities, moral separation, and sectional hatreds in a nation, to be a war quite as destructive of that real and permanent peace which God has to bestow, as the clanging of the arms or the booming of the artillery of contending nations. Indeed intestine strifes, and moral hatreds in society, may be greater enemies to the peace which religion is intended to confer than political wars, because in the one case there is a personal spiritual malignity in action which can hardly be predicated of the other. It must be confessed that in our own country there are many evils of a political, social, moral, and professedly religious character, which require correction. We care not now to enter upon their description. The facts are sufficiently proved by the ignorance which prevails in our towns; by the crimes recorded in the reports of the police; by the domestic strifes which are known, more or less, to every one; by the carelessness about religion, and by the infidelity respecting it, of which most persons are aware,-also by the disruption and separation which exist among its professors, and which are patent to all. All these are painful facts, which deserve attention, and they must have it with a view to their correction, or the peace which true religion teaches us to expect can never be obtained.

But whose duty is it to attend to those matters? It is the duty of every one! No individual is absolved from the endeavour to remove ignorance, to diminish crime, to inform infidelity, and to promote, according to his several opportunities, truth, charity, and religion. To do what is right and good is not the exclusive privilege of any class of men; it is the prerogative of all. Some may have more opportunities than others for observing disorders, and greater power for repressing them ; but as every individual has some opportunities for those observations, and some power for repressing what he sees to be wrong, he is required to use them as best he can, and the peace contemplated by religion for the enjoyment of society will be secured only so far as these duties are attended to. The Divine Providence, in conferring political peace upon a nation, thereby favours it with the opportunity for obtaining that which is religious. When the Lord leads us up the hill, his purpose is to present us with a wider and a better prospect, and to encourage us to persevere in those exertions which will raise us to the summit. Mere political peace is the lowest round of the ladder, the top of which reaches unto heaven. When Providence mercifully placed us upon this round, it thereby calls our attention to other steps that have to be ascended, to other duties that have to be performed ; and if we do not make some progress in the way thus pointed out, it is more than probable that the advantages gained will be placed in jeopardy. The political peace of a nation is best and most permanently secured by the moral and spiritual peace of the people. Without this they may be readily disturbed, or easily brought into the condition of those who say-“Peace, peace, when there is no peace;" and it is evident that where the elements of genuine peace are wanting, the harmony of political peace is very precarious. “There is no peace to the wicked."

And what are the elements of genuine peace? They are virtue, goodness, wisdom. The individual, the society, the nation which has not something of those excellencies, is sure, sooner or later, to manifest some selfishness of conduct, which others will regard as offensive and injurious; and this will quite as surely beget opposition, resistance, or war; whereas they who possess and cultivate those graces, thereby provide against the manifestation of offensive conduct, and at the same time beget or themselves a character and estimation which others less

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scrupulous and careful will respect and refrain from injuring. The power of goodness is incalculable: it is the essential of God's Omnipotence. The reason why men have so little faith in goodness, is because, in general, they have so little love for it. If men would love it, and pursue its objects with devotedness and care, they would soon learn by a delightful experience that it was attended with a power sufficient to secure peace in all the departments of human intercourse and life. For then justice would be done, and injustice would be avoided; right would be respected, and wrong would be eschewed; and every one sees that these are the great principles which conduce to the formation and establishment of peace,

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and every view of it which may be taken. Peace, when viewed from the light of true religion, and the spiritual teachings of the Word, includes within it the wisdom and happiness of heaven; for every one, when he reflects upon heaven as a state of rest, immediately perceives that it is also a condition of peace. The peace contemplated by true religion is an internal affection of the mind arising out of its reception of what is wise and holy. It is formed by the unity of truth with goodness in the heart and soul of man; and it diffuses throughout his whole character and conduct a condition of delight and blessedness. It thus implies not only the cessation of some discord which may have prevailed, but the active presence of some wisdom and intelligence which have been conferred; and because the Lord is the primary Source of these graces, He also is the real Origin of the peace which they involve. Hence He is called “the God of Peace.” Peace really and practically consists in the aggregate of all those blessings which come to us from Him, and, consequently, in all those graces which belong to heaven and the church, together with the life and the light which they include. In the peace thus obtained there is charity, faith, and spiritual security: the reason is, because the man who has it is conjoined to the Lord; he loves the Lord, and from this love he has faith in Him; and he is in charity with his neighbour ;-and by these he is protected against the inflowings and uprisings of those evil affections and false persuasions by which all discords are produced. Thus the peace which religion teaches us to hope for and to aim at, belongs to a state of exalted love and light—of goodness and truth—which flow into man's affection and perception from the Lord, when the lusts arising from self-love and the love of the world are subdued and removed; for these are the loves which take away peace, because they infest the interiors of men; induce all kinds of disturbances and restlessness; and so long as man continues under the influence of those evil loves, he not only remains in ignorance of what peace is, but he is disposed

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to look upon it as a thing of nought,--to find delight in discord, and even happiness in the terrible excitements of war.

As there can be no doubt that the lusts arising from the love of self and the love of the world are the sources of all wars, political, social, domestic, or spiritual; so it must be equally evident that the delights which arise from the love of the Lord and the love of our neighbour are the elements and foundations of all that is peaceful and heavenly. From this we may learn that to make good any political peace that we may enjoy, we ought carefully to cultivate the grounds or principles upon which the peace inculcated by religion is to be obtained : if the latter is neglected, the former will be in danger; and certainly it will not confer upon us any spiritual benefit. The former, as it were, throws open the doors to the latter; it removes obstacles, and presents the opportunity for pursuing the peace which religion teaches, without the lets and hindrances which arise from political wars.

But if this opportunity be neglected; if the advantage be not embraced of entering into the temple when the opportunities are presented, it is plain that we are either ignorant of or careless about one of the highest graces of Christianity; for the Lord is described to be the “Prince" of it, and it is distinctly written that “of His government and peace there shall be no end.”

It deserves to be seriously noticed that the Scriptures encourage us to hope for the arrival of a period in human society when all wars shall

Hence it is written" He maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the earth : He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder : He burneth the chariot in the fire.” And again—“He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks : nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." And can there be any well-founded doubt that Christianity was introduced into the world for the purpose of bringing about this desirable state of things ? All its true principles, doctrines, and practices, point to these desiderata. No doubt these statements primarily refer to the removal of the lusts of selfish and worldly loves; the regeneration of individual men; the conquering of the temptations which lead to it; and, finally, to their coming into the enjoyment of spiritual peace : for it is only when this is happily accomplished among mankind that we can reasonably expect the predictions to be politically realised.

When the advent of Christianity was predicted, it was said—“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that

cease.

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